Edited by Cassie Sevigny
The Connections between Water and Rural Production project (CAP) investigates whether and which farmers adapt their production systems when they experience water variability, what adaptations they make, and whether these adaptations reduce income losses when droughts occur. Improved understanding of these feedbacks will inform efforts by government agencies and civil society to help farmers respond to water scarcity. CAP hired just under 50 University students in Rondônia to assist with farmer interviews in the region. Many of the students had family farming or managing cattle ranches in the region, and had a vested interest in the results of the project. The students surveyed households in three study regions within the state: Ariquemes, Ouro Preto d’Oeste, and Rolim de Moura. Fernanda dos Santos Candido was the supervisor in the Rolim de Moura area.
Why did you apply to be a part of the research project?
I applied for this research project because I believe in the ideals and because I believe this work will have a positive impact on the state! I study Veterinary Medicine, which is linked to land use and cattle ranching, the main activity of the state.
Why is the project important to you or your community?
In addition to showing us how our state is doing and how we are using water, the project builds on the history of Rondônia.
What have you learned from being involved in the project?
I have learned that research is an incredible way to understand the reality of where we live and a great way to make contacts within the agricultural world.
What was the most frustrating aspect of the survey experience?
The most frustrating experience for me was the difficulty we found in Pimenta Bueno. There were dangerous roads, motorcycles got stuck in sand, and properties were far apart if they could be found at all.
What was the most rewarding? The most rewarding experience was seeing the interviewers arrive after a tiring day full of charming stories of their experiences in the field that they were happy to share. This research experience was incredible. There were many intense days of great learning! It was very rewarding!
Please share one lesson that you have for future interviewers.
The group I worked with showed humility and respect for the producers who were willing to offer everything they have (information and hospitality). The lesson that I have for future interviewers is that they understand that the producers deserve respect and that we are learning a little from them each day.